Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Rise of Newt

The Republican primaries has been a constant shift in power. Those whose campaigns were one surging such as Rick Perry, Hermain Cain, and Michele Bachmann are now just struggling to keep their heads above water. The only potential candidate who is a realistic victor for the party's nominee who has run a consistent strong campaign has been Mitt Romney. With the departure of Herman Cain it would seem that Romney would now be a shoe-in for the Republican nomination. Once again, this race has taken an unexpected turn and the race is still very much up for grabs. 

Seasoned Republican Newt Gingrich who has held numerous political offices such as being the speaker of the House of Representatives, over the course of many decades and has appeared on Fox News countless times is beginning to emerge as Romney's biggest competition in the race. Back in late September, Gingrich finished sixth out of eight in the Florida Straw Poll with only 8.4% of the vote. Only John Huntsman and Michele Bachmann trailed him. It seemed as if the 68-year-old Gingrich time had passed many years ago and that his chances of representing the Republican Party in the 2012 election were slim to none. But with Cain's departure from the race, Gingrich has been given a window of opportunity that many people thought was close to impossible for him to ever obtain. The latest Des Moines Register Poll reveals that the former House Speaker has won the support of 25% of the 401 probable Republican caucus-goers. This marks a huge change from his 7% that he claimed back in October. Gingrich is very confident about his chances of winning the nomination as well. Last week he told ABC news that "It's very hard to not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high that I'm going to be the nominee."

Unlike Cain, some of Gingrich's decisions years ago are proving to benefit him in the long-run. Gingrich and Cain have a relationship that goes back to his days at the Speaker of the House in which he appointed Cain to the National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform Commission over a decade ago in 1996. One of Cain's top advisers says that he will endorse one of his ex-rivals before the January 3rd caucus', and that person will most likely be Gingrich. This endorsement would give Gingrich's campaign very strong momentum due to the large amount of news coverage it would result in.

However, his recent surge does not mean that Gingrich has just had the nomination handed to him on a silver platter. Although some polls show that many Republicans are distrustful of the front runner Mitt Romney due to his tendency to flip-flop and his left-leaning positions on health care insurance and abortion, opinion polls consistently show that Romney has a far better chance of beating Obama in the election that matters: Obama leads Romney by only two percent while he leads Gingrich by 12%. It is also plausible that his past might turn out to haunt him as well due to his vulnerability to being criticized as being a Washington insider during his Congressional days as well as taking money as a political consultant for big businesses. He also might suffer the same fate as his likely biggest future endorsement Cain did due to his inability to be faithful man in two of his three marriages. Opponents such as Ron Paul who has a very strong base although a long-shot for the nomination as well as Michele Bachmann have voiced their criticism towards him in the past. Despite this adversity, Gingrich is Romney's biggest competition.

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